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  • Author: Bob Baker
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Nothing but a bunch of “cookie pushers” is an ancient slur against diplomats who are thus seen as simply sitting at fine tables sipping tea and offering cookies to equally insipid, wealthy and powerful guests abroad. In fact, diplomatic receptions, lunches, dinners, or simple wine and cheese works are intricate payoffs or seductions and very hard work. The pit face of cookie pushing is when the President visits. Everyone at the Embassy turns out to make sure he and his retinue meet or greet in the right order, time and place everyone of use to American interests. The Ambassador works hardest as any slipups are his responsibility. Even the wealthy, politically appointed Ambassador needs to make the President and his visiting staff happy. The career Ambassador’s next post may be in a steaming jungle if mistakes are made or in an important country if all goes well during the “king’s progress”.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Government, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States of America, North America
  • Author: Daphne McCurdy, Chikara Onda, Aaron Aitken, Lucia Adriana Baltazar Vazquez, John Paul Bumpus, John Speed Meyers, Pierina Ana Sanchez, Yolaine Frossard de Saugy, Melanie Harris, Steve Moilanen, Stephen Pritchard, Nicolas Collin dit de Montesson, Naomi Crowther
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Woodrow Wilson School Journal of Public and International Affairs
  • Institution: Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Abstract: From pressing foreign policy issues such as territorial disputes in the South China Sea and homicide rates in Honduras to contentious domestic policy debates such as the rights of Mexican immigrants in the United States and the construction of the Keystone pipeline, the topics in this year’s journal are wide-ranging in both functional and geographic focus. However, they all share a strong commitment to seeking solutions to the world’s most serious challenges through sound policy.
  • Topic: Crime, Government, Oil, Poverty, Sovereignty, Bilateral Relations, Territorial Disputes, Foreign Aid, Immigration, Governance, Law, Cybersecurity, Grand Strategy
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Iran, Canada, Philippines, Mexico, Honduras, United States of America, South China Sea
  • Author: Jack Chow, Shenglan Tang, Enis Baris
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Yanzhong Huang (“The Sick Man of Asia,” November/December 2011) paints a troubling picture of a China that has rapidly industrialized yet lags in modernizing its health-care system. Yet in his cogent history of China's health policy, much of which centers on self-reliance, Huang puzzlingly omits China's success in winning nearly $1 billion in recent years from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. That the country's health officials have had to resort to tapping a fund ostensibly dedicated to helping the world's poorest countries speaks to their inability to persuade the government to pay for public health with its national coªers. Only when the incongruity of a financial giant getting grants at the expense of impoverished African countries was illuminated did China choose to stop taking Global Fund awards.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia
  • Author: Bryan Barnett
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: It is one of the sad facts of recent human history that the economic prosperity enjoyed by so many remains unknown to most of the rest. The causes of poverty have long been debated and much has been spent in the effort to ameliorate it. Reliable estimates suggest as much as $2.3 trillion has been spent over the last several decades, most of it in the form of sponsored aid programs conceived and pursued by governments and large foundations in developed countries. Despite this investment, however, poverty remains widespread and has worsened in many places, especially in Africa. These basic facts now fuel a vigorous debate over the scale and ultimate value of traditional aid programs and a search for more effective solutions.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Sally Healy
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article assesses the contribution that IGAD has made to regional security in the Horn of Africa since the adoption of its peace and security mandate in 1996. It describes the evolution of IGAD and its mandate in the context of regional conflict and wider African peace and security processes. It explores the local dynamics of the two major IGAD-led peace processes, in Sudan (1993–2005) and in Somalia (2002–2004), and discusses the effectiveness of IGAD's institutional role. A consideration of the wider impact of the peace agreements highlights the way IGAD has enhanced its role by setting the agenda on peace support operations in Somalia. The article concludes that IGAD's successes are more the result of regional power politics than of its institutional strength per se. Despite the obvious need for a better regional security framework, the scope for the IGAD Secretariat to develop an autonomous conflict-resolution capability will remain limited. However, IGAD brings a new diplomatic dimension to conflict management that locks in regional states and locks out interested parties beyond the region. With regard to Somalia, the organization has played a pivotal role in directing African and wider international responses to conflict in the region.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan, Somalia
  • Author: Edward Miguel
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Steven Radelet's accessible new book argues that much of the credit for Africa's recent economic boom goes to its increasingly open political systems. But Radelet fails to answer the deeper question: why some countries have managed to develop successful democracies while others have tried but failed.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Asia, Liberia
  • Author: Freya Baetens, Rumiana Yotova
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: In 2009, the Permanent Court of Arbitration administered a unique case: the Abyei Arbitration between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army. This case is unique in several aspects: first, it is an example of intra-state dispute settlement in a conflict zone rich in natural resources, second, it was conducted under a fast-track procedure, and third, it was fully transparent, with all documents and full webcast of the proceedings still available on the PCA website. Currently there is a large number of outstanding intra-state disputes, not limited to Africa, so this paper assesses why the Parties in the Abyei Arbitration chose arbitration in the first place and whether this model could be successfully applied to other similar disputes.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Scott Fitzsimmons
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Over and above the widely acknowledged threats of international terrorism and the Afghan insurgency, Canada and the Canadian Forces face a number of pressing threats from state and non-state actors, which range from the physical to the fiscal. This paper highlights threats posed by private security contractors in Afghanistan, pirates off the Horn of Africa, foreign states in disputed areas of the Arctic, and the current economic downturn within Canada. Each section of the paper highlights one or more specific threats posed to Canada and/or the Canadian Forces and discusses existing and proposed attempts to address these threats.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, Canada
  • Author: Heike Larson
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Infidel is a heroic, inspiring story of a courageous woman who escapes the hell of a woman's life in the Muslim world and becomes an outspoken and blunt defender of the West. Ms. Hirsi Ali takes the reader on her own journey of discovery, and enables him to see, through concretes and by sharing her thought processes, how she arrived at the conclusion that Islam is a stagnant, tyrannical belief system and that the Enlightenment philosophy of the West is the proper system for human beings. In Part I, Ms. Hirsi Ali describes her childhood in Muslim Africa and the Middle East. With her father imprisoned for opposing Somalia's communist dictator Siad Barré and her mother often preoccupied with finding food for her family, young Ayaan and her siblings grew up listening to the ancient legends their grandmother told them-legends glorifying the Islamic values of honor, family clans, physical strength, and aggression. Born in 1969 in Somalia, Ms. Hirsi Ali moved frequently with her family to escape persecution and civil war, living in Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and Kenya. At a colonially influenced Kenyan school, she discovered Western ideas, in the form of novels, "tales of freedom, adventure, of equality between girls and boys, trust and friendship. These were not like my grandmother's stark tales of the clan, with their messages of danger and suspicion. These stories were fun, they seemed real, and they spoke to me as the old legends never had" (p. 64). Forced into an arranged marriage, she was shipped to Germany to stay with distant family while awaiting a visa for Canada to join the husband she didn't know. At age twenty-two, alone and with nothing but a duffle bag of clothes and papers, she took a train to Holland to escape the dreary life of a Muslim wife-slave. "It was Friday, July 24, 1992, when I stepped on the train. Every year I think of it. I see it as my real birthday: the birth of me as a person, making decisions about my life on my own" (p. 188). In Part II, Ms. Hirsi Ali shares her wonder of arriving in modernity, and her relentless effort to create a productive, independent life for herself. After being granted asylum, she worked menial jobs, learned Dutch, became a Swahili translator, earned a vocational degree, and finally graduated with a degree in political science from one of Holland's most prestigious universities. An outspoken advocate of the rights of Muslim women, she was elected to the Dutch parliament in 2003, as a "one-issue politician"-she "wanted Holland to wake up and stop tolerating the oppression of Muslim women in its midst" and to "spark a debate among Muslims about reforming aspects of Islam so people could begin to question" (p. 295). She became a notorious critic of Islam, at one point daring to call the Prophet Muhammad a pervert for consummating marriage with one of his many wives when she was only nine years old. In 2004, she made a short film called Submission: Part 1 in which she depicted women mistreated under Islamic law raising their heads and refusing to submit any longer. Tragically, the film's producer, Theo van Gogh, was brutally murdered by an offended Muslim, who left on van Gogh's body a letter threatening Ms. Hirsi Ali with the same fate. Since 2004, Ms. Hirsi Ali has had to live under the constant watch of bodyguards, often going into hiding for months at a time. Although the straight facts of her life are in and of themselves admirable, Ms. Hirsi Ali's intellectual journey as presented in Infidel is truly awe inspiring. This journey begins in Africa in the disturbingly dark world of Islam-with its disdain for thought and reason, its self-sacrificial ethics, and its corrupt, tyrannical politics-and ends in the West with her having become an outspoken champion of reason and freedom.
  • Topic: Government, War
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Canada, Germany
  • Author: James D. McGee
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: For years analysts have been predicting that Zimbabwe had reached rock bottom and that a turn-around was imminent. For years they have been wrong, and Robert Mugabe and his Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party have maintained political control while simultaneously destroying Zimbabwe's once thriving economy. The question now is whether the postelection violence and hyper-inflation of 2008 finally marked the turning point for Zimbabwe, and if the new unity government can begin to bring Zimbabwe out of its decade-long collapse.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zimbabwe